This exhibition presents “quartets online,” a new online version of musician Yoshihide Otomo’s collaborative “quartets” installation project with numerous other artists.
“quartets online” is a new version of the “quartets” installation that musician Yoshihide Otomo unveiled at YCAM in 2008.
The original installation consisted of images showing only the silhouettes of eight performing musicians. Their performances were based on the instruction to ”play solo while imagining the presence of other players,” and ultimately projected as shadow images onto the sides of a big cube at the exhibition venue, according to a certain algorithm. Displays on the walls reflected how objects made of wood and iron vibrate in response to the oscillating sounds. As visitors could hear the audio of all performing musicians at once, but not look at the cube and the surrounding walls at the same time, it was not possible to grasp the total picture visually. Furthermore, as the solo performances were put together in constantly changing combinations based on a computer program, visitors witnessed at any given moment a “one-off improvised set.”
“quartets online” is a remodeled version that comes with the unique features of a work to be viewed on the Internet. This time, viewers can enjoy an unlimited number of improvised performances at any time on their own devices. Even though Otomo and the YCAM staff started discussing the idea soon after the initial exhibition of “quartets,” it took a long time to realize it. The viewer is inspired to think about the contemporary meaning of space and time within experience, and about the physical distance between human individuals, as the fleeting ensemble performances reverberate – differently from the original “quartets” – across the World Wide Web.